It’s been two weeks now since “The Big Thing” started airing on GMA 7 last August 8. I tried to give it a chance but unfortunately dear readers, this kind of drama just isn’t my cup of tea (or shot of soju, if we’re trying to keep things Korean).
“The Big Thing” is a drama that tells the story of the woman who would become the first female president of South Korea. Maureen (played by Go Hyun-Jung) is a TV announcer who voices out her complaints about the current administration when her husband dies in the hands of terrorists. Because of this, she loses her job as a broadcast journalist but eventually finds herself as a piece in the dirty game of politics. But through the help of two men, she rises like a phoenix to become the president. However, these two men in her life who helped her reach the top may also be the ultimate key to her downfall.
Edward (played by Kwon Sang-Woo) is a charming prosecutor who is out for revenge as well against people who have messed up his life. He falls for Maureen and tries his best to keep the widowed president safe from the people plotting her ruin.
Meanwhile, Victor (played by Cha In-Pyo) masterminded the ascent of Maureen to the presidency. But his intentions may not be as pure for he has interests of his own to consider. Still, part of him is strangely drawn to this woman who is supposed to be merely his political pawn.
On paper, “The Big Thing” seems so exciting with political intrigue, conspiracy, and revenge in the mix. But despite its strong ratings and multiple awards when it aired in Korea, I never watched it at all. I even had to painstakingly fast forward episodes just to write this synopsis.
A thrilling drama of this genre for me requires a certain foundation in reality when they present political issues. But this drama tends to oversimplify things by simply having Maureen be the bad-ass president who waves it all away. I totally didn’t buy into the idea of her fixing everything so easily. In a way, Maureen seems like a mash-up of all the good things that Cory Aquino had (warm personality, loving mother, martyred husband to inspire her) and all the vile things that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had (stubborn inflexibility, do it my way or the highway mantra, tactlessness). I cringe even as I think about it now.
What’s more, I felt confused by the sudden changes in tonality throughout the drama when it goes from serious political warfare to slapstick romantic googly-wooglies. The shifts just didn’t feel natural at all. These are supposed to show the human side of Maureen – but to me, it just felt forced and contrived.
And personally, I don’t like Kwon Sang-Woo’s dramas. They just border on gouge-out-my-eyes-from-all-the-crying to downright blow-my-head-off-it’s-not-functioning-anymore. He always chooses dramas that make him seem so old and boring. Still, Kwon Sang Woo on the big screen – now that I’m always game for.
But that’s just me. If you’re into this kind of thing (and I’m not taking it against you), you can catch “The Big Thing” on GMA7 from 10:15 to 10:45pm every weekdays.
Thanks to christianprovido for the video.